Let’s be honest here, mamas. Sometimes it’s possible to get so caught up in the to do list that we forget to just be. We rush through the day, harried and frazzled. Then we wake up the following day, already exhausted, grab a cup of coffee, and do it all again.
Brush your teeth!
Put on some pants!
Keep your hands to yourself!
Didn’t you just ask me that question?!
Lower your volume!
Use your words!
Get in the car!
Where are your shoes?
Stop picking your nose!
Wash your hands!
The thing is, motherhood is messy and loud and exhausting, but it’s a short season. It’s often hard to remember that when you’re in it, but one day you wake up and your son suddenly looks like he’s aged a year overnight. Your daughter looks so much taller. Your baby is almost four. And those quirky things they said or did, those things you loved so much, disappeared overnight.
Where were you, when all of this was going on?? How did you miss the end of those things you loved so dearly?
You were probably right there, beside them, as you always are… but your mind was on all those other things.
What else are you missing right now, while you’re trying to do all of those other things?
I want to savor every last magical drop of this motherhood gig, but on certain days it is much easier said than done. It can be hard to make space between all of those things that you have to do today.
But, where there’s a will there’s a way. There’s always a way. Here are five things that you can do RIGHT NOW to make a memory. You can do this, mama. It won’t take long. You can make a memory and still have time to tackle that never-ending to do list!
5 Things to do RIGHT NOW to make your kids smile
So simple, right? Do you see that kid whizzing past you right now? Scoop her up and hug the holy heck out of her. I guarantee you will make her day and improve your own. Endorphins and whatnot.
Folks, I was a swimmer, not a dancer. I do not claim to have any dance skills. Still, I love my music and come 4:00 pm most days, my little poppies and I rock out to Kenny Chesney. It’s funny to me that this tradition was borne out of complete and total desperation: I had a colicky baby who would not stop crying and so I danced. Just dance. You will feel better.
3. Play a game
Let’s face it: board games are awesome. They totally are! Most games take between 20-60 minutes to play. Can you make space for an hour of your day? I bet you could shift some things. I know your kids will appreciate it!
4. Read a book
Reading aloud is always a good idea. Read early, read often, read well past when they can read to themselves. Every single time you read to your child, you are not only educating your kiddo but you are creating memories. Read for ten minutes or read for sixty. Every minute is well spent.
5. 1:1 Time
Wait!! Don’t leave me yet, hear me out! Yes, it’s hard. I get it, I do! My husband works all the time, but I’ve recently discovered that 1:1 time doesn’t have to be fancy. Just the other day, I was – um… er… shaving my armpits over the sink and, um, well… T came in to “chat” with me. The boys were playing downstairs and we decided we’d be totally crazy and lock the bathroom door and have a “just us women” chat.* We had the best time! We chatted about all the things that are very important to T: friends, babies, animals, fancy moms (which she is fond of telling me I am not), “krinkle” free bed sheets, and car door handles. Yup, door handles- she can tell you if your car is fancy enough in two seconds. My Hyundai Santa Fe does not pass the test but perhaps your handles will.
My point is… one-on-one time sounds overwhelming and a little bit impossible, but all you really need to do is lock yourself in a bathroom for a few minutes and everyone is happy.
*T used to say, “just us swimmin’!” instead of “just us women” and I am mourning the fact that it is gone. See?! Take five minutes and do some of these things, folks. Kids are gone in a blink. Enjoy them before you have … teenagers.
Now, it’s your turn. Tell me, folks… do you find time to make your kids smile each day? What works for you? Share here!
Cait co-hosts The Homeschool Sisters Podcast and is co-founder of Raising Poppies, a community for parents of gifted and twice-exceptional children. Cait is also founder of the Family Book Club at My Little Poppies, a fantastic community of book-loving parents and the Gameschool Community at My Little Poppies, a vibrant community of gameschoolers.
Cait is a contributing writer for Simple Homeschool and GeekMom. Her work has also appeared on The Huffington Post, The Mighty, and Scary Mommy. You can find her on Facebook, Pinterest, Twitter, Instagram